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Letter 7209

Sedgwick, Adam to Darwin, C. R.

30 May 1870


Writes of CD’s recent visit to Cambridge and the joy it gave him.



May 30 1870

My dear Darwin

Your very kind letter surprised me— Not that I was surprised atthe pleasant & very welcome feeling with which it was written.f1 ButI could not make out what I had done to deserve the praise of“extraordinary kindness of yourself & family”. I would mostwillingly have done my best to promote the objects of your visit butyou gave me no opportunity of doing so. I was truly grieved to findthat my joy at seeing you again was almost too robust for your stateof nerves, & that my society, after a little while, became oppressiveto you. But I do trust that your Cambridge visit has done youno constitutional harm—nay rather that it has done you somegood— I only speak honest truth when I say that I was overflowingwith joy when I saw you; & saw you in the midst of a dear family party& solaced at every turn by the loving care of a dear Wife &Daughters.f2 How different from my position—that of a very oldman, living in cheerless solitude!

May God bless & cheer you all with the comfort of hopefulhearts!—you & your Wife, & your Sons & Daughters!—

You were talking about my style of writing— I send you my lastspecimen; & it will probably continue to be my last— It is thecontinuation of a former Pamphlet of which I have not one sparecopy— I do not ask you to read it.f3 It is addressed to the oldpeople in my native Dale of Dent, on the outskirts ofWestmorland—while standing at the door of the old vicarage I cansee down the valley the Lake mountains—Hill Bell at the head ofWindermere about 20 miles off—f4 On Thursday next D.V.f5 I am to startfor Dent which I have not visited for full two years.— Two yearsago I could walk three or four miles with comfort— Now, alas!, Ican only hobble about on my stick

I remain your true hearted old friend | A Sedgwick

DAR 177: 128



CD’s letter has not been found. CD had visited Cambridge earlier inMay and had met with Sedgwick on 23 May 1870 (see letter toJ. D. Hooker, 25 May [1870] and n. 6).
Sedgwick refers to Emma Darwin, Henrietta Emma Darwin, andElizabeth Darwin.
Sedgwick refers to his Supplement to the memorial of the trusteesof Cowgill Chapel (Sedgwick 1870). CD’s copy is in the DarwinLibrary–Down.
The Yorkshire dale of Dent (now Dentdale) is south-eastof the county of Westmorland (both regions are now part of Cumbria).
D.V.: Deo volente (God willing; Latin).
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